Ranil calls for PSC investigation into MV X-Press Pearl incident
Former Prime Minister and Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (6 June) called for the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to investigate the MV X-Press Pearl incident.
Wickremesinghe was recently picked by the UNP Working Committee to represent them in Parliament using the lone National List seat the party secured at the last general elections.
Issuing a press release, Wickremesinghe pointed out the impact of the maritime disaster and questioned why the Government was slow to seek international assistance in responding to the fire aboard the ill-fated vessel. “Therefore, I propose that a Parliamentary Select Committee be immediately appointed to inquire into the fire on this ship. There is a possibility of appointing members and appointing a select committee this week when Parliament meets. Accordingly, the committee may meet in the first week of July to present a preliminary report on the environmental and economic damage caused by the ship fire. People have a right to know how the ship caught fire and why it could not be extinguished. Also, the people have a right to know what steps we will take next regarding the ship. We urge the Government to expedite this,” the former Prime Minister stressed.
The Government and the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) had failed to seek international assistance in spite of notifying the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the press release said.
“In such a situation the National Disaster Council can be convened under the Disaster Management Act. It has the potential to gather and declare a state of disaster in the coastal region,” Wickremesinghe added.
He pointed out that if a state of disaster had been declared Sri Lanka could have obtained foreign assistance to put out the fire. “As the fire spread, we got help to put out the fire from India. By then the fire was out of control because the notification to India had been delayed. Europe and East Asian countries have the greatest knowledge about the fires of such a chemical ship.”
(Source: Daily FT)
Law-makers are elected to parliament to make new laws, bringing reforms & amendments where necessary. It is a tragedy that the parliamentarians are not focussing on this. Always on something else. Most of the laws are now very old, more than 100 years ( criminal, shipping laws,etc). Very humple request to the fmr PM Ranil is to concentrate on this (laws), and leave the experts on
environment and shipping to handle MV X-Press Pearl.
RW seems to have woken up from his dotage, suddenly realising that he has not said anything about the sinking ship !! His main complaint is why international help was not obtained ??? No wonder the citizens did not give a single elected seat to his party at the last elections ! As the previous commentator says, leave it to the experts.
UNP votes robbed by well known elements within the party & opposition. RW is the most suitable MP to represent UNP now & we look forward…